Red Plankton in the Arabian Sea
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Red Plankton in the Arabian Sea

October 14, 2004
In the Arabian Sea, sunlight and nutrients fueled a startling occurrence of colorful phytoplankton and bacterial populations, which are captured in these natural-color images from NASA's Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR). Several areas exhibit an unmistakably reddish hue, particularly in the upper portion of the images. The image set is centered along the Tropic of Cancer, about 400 kilometers east of Muscat, Oman, and was acquired on October 2, 2004. A view from MISR's nadir (directly downward-viewing) camera is provided on the left, while the two smaller images at the upper and lower right are from MISR's 60-degree-forward- and backward-pointing cameras, respectively. The Arabian Sea is an unusual part of the world's oceans because it is surrounded by land masses from three sides, and light levels in the region are strongly influenced by cloud cover generated by the Indian monsoons. Phytoplankton concentrations in the Arabian Sea tend to be highest during Se

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